NEWMARKET, N.H. - Heidi Jän Berger, née Howalt, died Monday, July 29, 2019, in her Newmarket, N.H., home - radiant and surrounded by loved ones. She was born March 28, 1951, in Bourne, Mass., to Jay Seymore Howalt and Barbara "Dusty" Joan Howalt. Heidi savored nineteen living-packed months after her pancreatic cancer diagnosis. She was given a beautiful green burial in T. Wistar Brown Cemetery in Dover, N.H., on July 31, 2019.
Spunky, badass and true to herself, Heidi's heart was tender and fierce. She created community all her life: growing up outside Boston; starting her Psychology B.S. at Tufts University, and finishing it at the University of Alabama, Birmingham; then living in California and Montana, where she raised two kids (and horses), before returning to New England. She made each house a home. Including years on Act III, a 44-ft sailboat that she and her husband, Bill, sailed throughout the Caribbean.
She was a ballerina, yoga instructor and mermaid - a gardener, cowgirl, belly-dancer, sailor and chef. She knew how to rock a boa, shake a tailfeather and butcher a chicken. She mastered the art of coaxing the sweetest juice from her Concord grapes, and the secret of singing an inconsolable young soul into soothed slumber.
Heidi's memory will be forever cherished by her husband, William Franklin Raley; daughter, Polly Joan Lórien; son, Aragorn Jake Berger; brother, K. Dane Howalt, M.D.; sister and brother-in-law, Meg and John Skonier; and "bonus children," Wendra and Armando Raley-Gonzales, Shellen and Adam Raley-Masterman, Ben and Rachel Raley. Heidi/Nana loved, nurtured, amused and amazed her five grandchildren: Ginger Lórien, Allie Berger, Lorenzo Raley-Gonzales, Fionna Raley-Therberge and Sare Raley-Masterman.
Because Heidi loved, sang, laughed and hugged with rare authenticity, many people consider her family. Her loss is deeply felt.
SERVICES: Heidi loved a party and knew how to throw one. Her Second "Going Away" Party, aka "Memorial," will be Oct. 12, 2019, 1 to 4 (at least) p.m. at the Stone Church in Newmarket, N.H. Join us for music, laughter, hors d'oeuvres, tears and toasts.
Stories of Heidi's life and times, or condolences, can be sent to: 25 Packers Falls Road, Newmarket, NH 03857
Published by Foster's Daily Democrat from Aug. 30 to Sep. 2, 2019.